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Know who are the frontrunners

The search is underway for the next chiefs of India’s top intelligence agencies. The government has started the process for finalising the contenders for the top posts at the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), news agency IANS reported citing security sources.

The current IB and RAW chiefs are unlikely to get further extensions as the Centre is looking for new faces at the top, the sources told. IB chief Arvind Kumar’s tenure concludes by the end of May while R&AW chief Samanta Goel will retire at the end of June. Both were kept in their respective posts beyond their scheduled service tenures with one-year extensions in May 2021.

Frontrunners for top intelligence agency posts

The government will first look to elevate senior-most IB and RAW officers before looking at options among IPS officers from outside the agencies, it was reported.  

For the IB chief post, the frontrunner is A.S. Rajan, IPS officer of 1987 batch from Bihar cadre who. Rajan is currently number two at IB and has previously served on Deputy Director and Joint Director ranks in Gujarat. He is rated highly by the government.

Another contender for the IB chief post is Tapan Deka, a 1988 batch officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre. Currently, Deka is Special Director and also heads counter-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

Fore the RAW top post, CBI Director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, who headed R&AW`s Mumbai station in 2008 during the terror attack, is in contention.

NIA’s next chief could be CRPF DG Kuldeep Singh who currently holds additional charge of the National Investigation Agency. Search is also on for the new Director General of the Sashashtra Seema Bal. The SSB’s charge is currently held additionally by ITBP Director General Sanjay Arora.

(With inputs from agencies)

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